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Discussion Starter #1
Had to replace the engine in my 98 TS Spider:
What a disaster. Living in Canada with such a rare car as a 98 Spider can be difficult. I replaced my TS engine with a rebuild from Autolusso had it flown in to my mechanic from England. They got me the engine very quickly and it was installed in May of 2015. After only 1,762 km the engine started to consume 1 liter of oil every 100-150km. We got the car home it was running fine except for the oil consumption. Contacted Ned @ Autolusso he wanted an oil sample which I sent him. Said there was nothing wrong with the sample. Finally in Late September I got the car to my Alfa Mechanic in Toronto for him to look at. He did a compression test: Mechanic words "Performed a compression test and Cyl 3 and 1 are slightly lower then 2 and 4 with a result of 124 to 158 psi. Down leak test very bad on Cyl 3. This engine unfortunately has to be dismantled". Concluded that the head should come off and check the pistons. Ned insisted that that was not necessary. We opened up the engine and found oil on top of the 4 pistons enough to fill a teaspoon each cylinder. The cylinder walls were scored. This with 5000km on the newly rebuilt Autolusso engine, something was amiss. We pulled the engine and disassembled it the pistons were scored and the rings were very sloppy in the grooves. Checking the exhaust valves we found them worn and in need of replacement. The whole engine needed a full rebuild. I asked Ned at Autolusso if they would honour their warranty. After supplying pictures, dimensions he said he would. We requested oversize pistons as the block would have to be sleeved and honed. Ned had a second thought and asked for proof that we had followed the brake in procedure. I produced a bill for the oil change etc. Then he wanted another oil sample (by this time the oil was all drained out of the disassembled engine and would be contaminated if there was any oil left). Finally after many emails and phone calls I gave up on any labour and just asked for the gasket sets, valves and over size pistons. Ned said that they probably had installed the wrong size rings in the pistons in the first place. We had the engine completely disassembled, Found a mysterious bushing in the oil pan which Ned couldn't identify said if was just something in the engine from Fiat. Turned out to be an oil sleeve for one of the cam shafts had to have been in the engine prior to Autolusso's rebuild. We found where it went later. Finally Ned at Autolusso categorically refused the any warranty saying the cylinders suffered from raw fuel in the cylinders causing the pistons and cylinders to wear out. I have had 2 engine rebuilders check the engine and both independently say the engine must have over 200,000 miles on it to cause this much wear. Boy did I ever get fleeced with such a poor engine from Autolusso. Finally I bought all the parts including oversize pistons & ring, gaskets & valves from Autolusso, Ned at one time refused to sell me the parts, more frustrations. The parts arrived and the engine builder proceeded to rebuild the engine. He had to remove the balance shafts in order not to contaminate them when boring and honing the cylinders for the new pistons. Another disaster was found the balance shaft bearing were so badly worn that they chattered when spun by hand and the bushing were worn out and scored. More parts ordered this time from EBspares arrived within a week (thanks) they said they have only had to supply bushing a couple of times on a very high mileage rebuild. The engine was coming back together the head had been cleaned and rebuilt every part was cleaned degreased before being re assembled. Along the way another problem was discovered the main pulley on the crankshaft was missing the key which is cast into the pulley. It had been broken off and the pulley had just been over tightened to hold it in place. We supplied a new pulley with the key in tact for the rebuild. Well finally the engine is back in the spider and running just fine according to my mechanic. What a terrible experience we have had. My wife Sue wrote to Ned at Autolusso a nice enough letter asking or some cooperation with the parts. Ned didn't even reply that was over a month ago. I sent him a letter regarding the final problems with the balance shaft and the pulley he did not reply. Just a warning to others to be aware of a rebuilt engine have it built by a reputable engine rebuilder and know what you are buying. I'm not a mechanic so have to take the word from a stranger that what he says is honest. I hope Autolusso will respond to this thread but I doubt it. I am sure Autolusso have built many TS engines but I got one of the worst and they categorically denied any warranty or assistance just put up road block after road block. What can I say I'm just one customer across an ocean so they don't care. A very disappointing experience from an Alfa Representative. Total rebuild hours 42hrs + machine shop time for block and head rebuild ad that to the parts what a disaster hopefully the car will be fine driving it home from Toronto tomorrow March 17, 2016, almost a year from when the engine was replaced. Drove 160km the car home yesterday what a treat and no oil consumption. Attached is pic file of the parts.
 

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Blimey what a nightmare. Fair play to you for sticking with the car, that can't of been a cheap experience. I think I would have given up and bought another car, but they are cheap as chips in the UK. Never used Autolusso myself but they seem to have a good reputation. Hopefully they see this thread and reply. Good luck with the new engine.
 

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Sounds an awful experience. I'd like to hear autolusso's side of the story though as only really heard good things about them in the passed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Me to they won't reply to my last emails. The car is home now sounds great looking forward to the summer,
 

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I will do a full and proper reply to this when I am in work on Monday.

I have attached a couple of pictures one is of one of the pistons that came out of the engine, I can categorically say this damage is not caused but the way the engine was build, this is caused by over fueling and bore wash

Ned
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good to here Ned reply to this thread he won't reply to our last 2 emails. That much wear in 1700 km, give me a break what about all the other worn out parts in the engine? Looks like Ned is still back tracking on the engine he supposedly re-built. The gas mileage we got on his "rebuilt engine" was normal 33.6 MPG or 8.52 liters/100Km however the oil consumption was 1 liter per 100-150 kilometers.

I can't attach all the pic files but here is a sample of what was found when the engine was assembled
Hi Gord,
here are the readings from the old pistons and rings:
top piston groove .057
second " .058
third “ . 091
Piston rings thicknes :
top ring .045
middle .046
oil ring .078
Machine shop is stating that clearance between rings and piston should not exceed .005 in this case there is .012
I took three pictures of the bottom oil ring (pointing with my nail) holist completely worn on one side there is no shoulder.
Here are the remaining of the pics from you requested.
To get a few pic in the attachment I have had to shrink them and turn them into a PDF file.
GordZ
 

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Good to here Ned reply to this thread he won't reply to our last 2 emails. That much wear in 1700 km, give me a break what about all the other worn out parts in the engine? Looks like Ned is still back tracking on the engine he supposedly re-built. The gas mileage we got on his "rebuilt engine" was normal 33.6 MPG or 8.52 liters/100Km however the oil consumption was 1 liter per 100-150 kilometers.

I can't attach all the pic files but here is a sample of what was found when the engine was assembled
Hi Gord,
here are the readings from the old pistons and rings:
top piston groove .057
second " .058
third “ . 091
Piston rings thicknes :
top ring .045
middle .046
oil ring .078
Machine shop is stating that clearance between rings and piston should not exceed .005 in this case there is .012
I took three pictures of the bottom oil ring (pointing with my nail) holist completely worn on one side there is no shoulder.
Here are the remaining of the pics from you requested.
To get a few pic in the attachment I have had to shrink them and turn them into a PDF file.
GordZ
We supplied a rebuilt engine as specified on our web site with the new parts fitted that are listed

Autolusso - Engine Rebuilds

For an oil scraper ring to wear like that in 1700 km show there was something seriously wrong with the installation of that engine and the article I attached sights "wear on pistons, piston rings and cylinder running surfaces caused by fuel flooding (increased oil consumption)"

We have built and fitted hundreds of rebuilt Twin Spark engines over the years and I have never seen an oil scraper ring worn like that in this time scale or mileage

I exchanged lots of email you Gord to try and establish what has gone wrong and what the cause was as I did not want this to happen again and I also made it clear that if he could show we had done something wrong on the build we would send out another engine but I made it very clear that there was no point just fitting another rebuilt engine with establishing the cause

As soon as I saw the pictures of the rings I know exactly what was going on and that it was nothing to do with the engine build we did and I made that absolutely clear. It was agreed the we would help by supplying new parts for this engine at the best price we could which he agreed to.

And that as far I was concerned was the end of it. Yes have sent me 2 email since but these these were asking for money back for the parts you agreed to buy and were threatening to try and damage our reputation by posting this sort of thing on the internet like you have

We did what we said we would do, supplied a rebuilt engine, had this engine be installed properly in the first place there would have been no issue with it

I took my time to help and we did everything we could to help

Ned
 

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Is it not possible that the wear could be caused by ill fitting piston rings especially if new pistons were not fitted.
Not like that, as I said we have built hundreds of these engines, on Twin Spark engines we never use new pistons it would make the build to expensive

Ned
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well Ned Kirkham of Autolusso this is what I expected from you. The engine was doomed to failure from the start, You never answered why the valves were pitted, the balance shafts bearings were worn out nor explain why the key in the crank pulley was broken when we took the engine apart, never explained why the oil sample I sent you tested ok. Impossible to have this much wear in 1700 kilometers! Something was a miss when you supposedly built this engine. Just more road blocks you have put up from the time we reported the huge oil consumption. Not surprized you and Autolusso have taken this position we are across an ocean and in a different country. Any way the engine is properly rebuilt and running very well thanks to my understanding mechanic here in Canada. He did a proper rebuild.
 

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We're the emissions tested at any point like at the equivalent of an MOT test. Over fueling should have become apparent. As it would with an oil test.
 

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We're the emissions tested at any point like at the equivalent of an MOT test. Over fueling should have become apparent. As it would with an oil test.
By this time we didn't want to spend another $100.00 on an emission test to tell us the engine was knackered. The engine needed a rebuild not a patch job as the oil consumption was horrific. The oil sample I sent to Autolusso would have shown fuel in it and it didn't. The engine was built with worn out pistons nothing more to be said. The fact that the balance shaft bearings and sleeves were worn out indicates an old engine that needed a complete rebuild not a patch. If you have built 100's of these engines this was your worst attempt. All that I can say is to beware of what you buy, and who you put your trust in, someone is out there to steal from your pocket. I thought I was getting a rebuilt engine not a reconditioned old engine.
 

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OK. We've had a full recount of what the buyer thinks, and full account of what the seller thinks. We've even seen pictures of the parts in question.

I don't think that the two sides of this argument are ever going to come together, and there's no value in a *** for tat battle commencing - I think all the information available is now present in the thread.

Since the OP is not actually asking for any further information or assistance, and given the above, I am going to close this thread at this point. This seems the best idea to me - but if anyone disagrees strongly, please do PM me with what you think the thread could continue to achieve, and I will consider.

Thanks everyone for keeping it civil while this info was shared. :)
 
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